I studied painting, drawing and printmaking long ago when I did a Diploma of Art (Tapestry), before concentrating on photography alongside a career in education. The photography gradually morphed into textile design, then digital art, which slowly began to frustrate me with its limitations. The hankering for the tactile nature of painting finally turned into a commitment in 2017 and I've been painting almost every day since (if only for half an hour on some days), from my home studio in Melbourne, Australia.
I realise now that when I first started painting, I wasn't ready. So little of the skill in painting is the physical pushing around of the paint – the rest is mental and emotional. Now that I'm in my 60s, I have experienced so much that I can pour onto the canvas – so much joy and pain, people, sunsets, waves and deserts. I'm interested in the emotional content of art, and how it can connect with that part of ourselves we keep hidden from public view. I'm inspired by abstract expressionism, but the landscape, of course, infiltrates all of my work in some way because I believe we are of nature, rather than nature being there to serve us. The Australian landscape, in particular, fascinates me. Our continent is so old, often dramatic, even harsh, but with pockets of lush beauty, and with the sea that surrounds us.
The driver for my painting is my own satisfaction (realising that that will always be a moving target). The activity of creation is completely magical – we begin with some raw materials, and have within all of us the ability to transform that into a powerful message. The process to do this is most often full of frustrations, challenges and, then hopefully, a great feeling of joy and peace as the painting finally resolves itself.